The castle we see today towering above the scenic town of Cochem on the Moselle River is not the castle that originally stood there in the 12th century. That castle had a long and colorful history until French King Louis XIV had his troops obliterate it in 1689.The castle remained a colorful stone ruin for 180 years until wealthy Berlin businessman Louis Ravené decided to buy the ruins and rebuild the castle in 1868. But he was not interested in restoring it to its original Romanesque style and condition. He had his architects create a neo-Gothic castle that could serve as a summer residence for his family. (Interestingly, Ravené did this in the same year that Bavarian King Ludwig II began construction on his Romanesque revival Neuschwanstein Castle, also built upon the ruins of an old castle.)However, some original Romanesque and Gothic elements, including the four-story Octagonal Tower and the Hexenturm (“witches tower”), were incorporated into Ravené’s new castle. The Witches Tower gets its name from the time when legend claims it was used to try women for witchcraft – by throwing them out of an upper window!